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Great produce that won't break the budget?

I'm new to the TC, and I'm looking for a supermarket/grocer like the one I had in Chicago (Caputo's, for those who might have spent time in the northwestern parts of the city). Specifically, I'm looking for great produce at a price that isn't prohibitively expensive.

I live in Roseville, but I'm willing to drive a bit for great produce at a great price. We buy a ton of fruits and vegetables and I'd love to not spend my entire paycheck on them, if I can. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks!

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  1. Check this place out:

    http://eisenbergfruit.com/

    I've only been in there once, it doesn't really fit my needs, but it might yours if you have a lot of turnover. The produce tends to be riper than most grocers.

    And, when the season hits, the St. Paul Farmers Market is the best place to get the best produce (with the other farmers markets close behind).

    1. Here is an old thread to check out. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/793328
      Most of the discussion was during the summer, but it may provide a few ideas for you.

      1. The Produce Exchange at Midtown Global Market is worth checking out.

        1. The downtown Farmer's market in St. Paul is a great start. Many of the vendors are Hmong people who re-settled and grow their own produce. Most important: stay within the season you're in for the best deals. Stay awaaaaaaaaay from Byerly's if they're even still around.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mamachef

            mc - can you explain "Stay awaaaaaaaaay from Byerly's if they're even still around."

            What exactly do you mean? Do you not like the produce at Byerly's? Or are you referring to a specific narrow context?

            1. re: foreverhungry

              If I can guess at mamachef's meaning, Byerly's is expennnnnnnnnsive! And not that great for produce. Yes, it looks beautiful, and yes, it's all available, but the taste isn't there. For the $$$, you're much better off shopping at area co-ops. For in-season produce, if possible. (So why am I craving zucchini in FEBRUARY?!?!?!?!?!?!?)

              Depending on where you are in Roseville, I'd recommend either the Seward Co-op in SE Mpls or the Eastside Co-op on Central in Mpls. Both are nice; the Seward Co-op is bigger (and has a great meat/fish and cheese department). The Wedge (S. Mpls) has the best produce, but Mississippi Market (St. Paul) isn't half bad.

              P.S. Welcome to the Twin Cities! When you go back to visit Chicago, will you bring me some red-pepper cashews from Sukhadia's on Devon? :-)

          2. I also stock a bunch of fruit and veggies in my house. I found Eisenburg Fruit mostly appropriate for those with a good plan to salvage over-the-hill produce, although I did get some organic apples at a good price. I would look into a CSA and the St Paul Farmer's Market in the spring for the best produce at the best prices. Otherwise, I think the best quality is at the co-ops, but the prices can be pretty painful. Trader Joe's has good seasonal fruit selections. At Cub and Rainbow whatever is in season and on sale tends to be pretty decent.